The only Constant

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8

Three years ago today, I left Texas and drove north into a world full of mystery and questions. Changes and challenges were the bedrock certainties I knew I could count on. In my otherwise predictable life story, it was a grand transition that prompted many “how comes?” and “what fors?” and “I don’t get its!” [and that was just the internal banter I was having with my imaginary friend!]. It was a bizarre, surreal experience unlike any I’ve ever known.

I pulled out my journal this morning to look back at Day 1. After a 16-hour road trip, it seems I was most thankful for abundant restroom facilities along the way and a healthy wifi connection at Aunt Phyllis’ upon arrival. Such a deep soul am I. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I ate my first ‘supper’ at an Applebee’s a few miles from the Chicago Bears training camp. I was behind enemy lines and had no clue [another chapter title in my imaginary memoir].

Three years later and the picture is becoming less cloudy. With new relationships and a new career and a maturing perspective, our world is stabilizing and becoming more manageable. We’re learning our way around and the flow of life is hovering around semi-normal. Meagan and Lexie are making positive strides and our connection is deepening in many key areas; they are both troopers of a rare stripe that make fatherhood a true joy. Katie is a rare treasure who has impacted my life incredibly. Life [has been] is [and will always be] good.

Many changes and challenges remain. The mystery and questions will never subside this side of heaven. And I’m slowly learning that these consistent “annoyances” are by God’s gracious design. I’m beginning to see that the settled, manageable, routine existence I’ve always craved is something I am not equipped to handle. It’s actually a detriment to my relationship with Jesus. He is the only Constant.

Jesus Christ is the only One who makes sense of the uncertainty of 8-2-09…and 8-2-12…and 8-2-22. And He is purposefully using the pressures and disturbances of life to draw me to Himself. Cushy comfort and the cross are mutually exclusive; they cannot co-exist. So each unanswered question and every season of change is not a curse but a gift. It is Jesus’ way of reminding me of my profound need for Him.

And that He is always enough.

And that He is never not going to be enough.

And that He isn’t going anywhere.

And that is incredibly good news.

36,300 miles later

One year ago today, I brought my little Honda Civic home and she’s been taking me places ever since. Through corn fields aplenty, to Texas and back, through the rain/sleet/snow, on quick jaunts to Galena and Springfield and Nashville and Indianapolis, and alongside my girly trio again and again and again. She’s dependable, fun, and only slightly embarrassing to Meagan and Lexie. And with gas prices headed north, she does her best to make my drive as efficient as possible.

Here’s to more 3K miles/month in the coming year.

Gas prices

Like poor refereeing or a James Carville soundbyte, rising gas prices always pull the angst and anxiety right out of people. Each of the past two weekends, President Obama and his Republican counterpart-of-the-week have used their Saturday radio addresses to blame each other for the current fuel spike [go here or here to browse the arguments or here to read an article from USAToday about how the US is ‘powerless’ to do anything about it].

Better yet, ponder a totally different perspective from R.C. Sproul, Jr. Here’s a quick blurb below or read the entire blog post.

“Prices are determined, ultimately, by the consumer. When prices go up, and we don’t change our behavior, we end up paying more than we’d like (which we always do. We’d all like everything we buy to be free) but not more than we are willing. When prices go up and we change our behavior, whether by car-pooling, fewer or shorter trips, or driving cars with better miles-per-gallon, we are decreasing demand. We demonstrate our unwillingness to pay x for y amount of gasoline.”

Happy motoring!

Taste of India?

Katie has been after me for some time to try an Indian restaurant near Bethel Church. Then she lured Meagan into the fray. Together, they’ve finally convinced me [ahem…wore me down!] to give it a shot with the old “they have a lunch buffet” routine. “Surely I can find some chicken nuggets or cottage cheese” I’ve told myself half-heartedly. Then I did a little web search and found a nifty video that sealed the deal. Can’t believe I’ve procrastinated on this one…

My favorite quote from the guy who doesn’t blink: “So we look forward for you to come here and get a dining experience, for you to experience yourself.”

We’ll provide a review of our “dining experience” when we go…maybe tomorrow.